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Explaining Sweden: Trump’s TV Habits (Updated)

newsman

This (via TPM) may explaing Trump’s Sweden rant: turns out “what happened last night in Sweden” actually just means “last night I was watching Tucker Carlson talk about Sweden” pic.twitter.com/6z5pfOJ7Yv — Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) February 19, 2017 This does not, in my opinion, change the basic thesis of my post on this topic. Worst case […]

Former Congressman And Republican Leader Bob Michel Dies At 93

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Former Congressman Bob Michael, who served as House Republican Leader during a prolonged period when the party was in the minority, has died at the age of 93: Robert H. Michel, who became the longest-serving Republican leader in the history of the House of Representatives while earning a reputation as a genial conciliator who worked […]

We are, I Would Note Again, at the Start of Week 4

us-politics

Via Politico:  Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start President Donald Trump, frustrated over his administration’s rocky start, is complaining to friends and allies about some of his most senior aides — leading to questions about whether he is mulling an early staff shakeup. Trump has told several people that he is particularly displeased […]

Secret Plans are the Best Kind of Plans

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Via TPM Livewire:  Top White House Advisor Claims Trump’s Wall ‘Will Pay For Itself’ “How are you going to guarantee that Mexico is going to pay for this wall?” Stephanopoulos asked. “They have said absolutely not, they will not pay for it.” “There’s all kinds of things we can do. I’m not going to make […]

Priebus in the Cross-hairs (Already?)

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Via WaPo:  Trump friend says Priebus is ‘in way over his head’ One of President Trump’s longtime friends made a striking move on Sunday: After talking privately with the president over drinks late Friday, Christopher Ruddy publicly argued that Trump should replace his White House chief of staff. “A lot of people have been saying, ‘Look, Donald has some problems,’ and I […]

Al Jarreau, Jazz Singer Who Spanned Musical Genres, Dies At 76

Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau, a singer whose half-century career spanned a number of musical genres, has died at the age of 76 only days after announcing his retirement from touring: Al Jarreau, a versatile vocalist who sold millions of records and won numerous Grammys for his work in pop and R&B as well as his first love, […]

Donald Trump Continues To Feed Material To Saturday Night Live

Trump SNL

Saturday Night Live is certainly getting a ton of material out of the Trump Presidency. Last night alone, there were three skits that involved some part of the Trump Presidency, including host Alec Baldwin reprising his performance as the President from several months ago. First up, Donald Trump heads to The People’s Court to get […]

Trump and the Permanent Campaign

us-politics

If anything, Trump’s Twitter feed has been a good illustration of the fact that the President has not made a transition from campaign to government.  This is hardly a surprise, as it would seem that he understands the former, but not the latter.  Such antics, of course, have been evident in public pronouncements and, it […]

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange Named To Replace Jeff Sessions In Senate

Capitol Dome

With Jeff Sessions now confirmed and sworn in as Attorney General, it falls to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to name a replacement and he has selected Attorney General Luther Strange to fill the role: Gov. Robert Bentley today announced he has selected state Attorney General Luther Strange to replace Jeff Sessions in the United States Senate. […]

Yet Another Poll Shows Majority Disapproval Of Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban

Trump Muslim Ban Protests

Another poll shows that a majority of Americans oppose President Trump’s Executive Order barring most travel to and from the United States from seven majority Muslim countries: A majority of U.S. voters disapprove of President Donald Trump’s recent actions on immigration, according to a new poll released Tuesday. The Quinnipiac University survey shows 51 percent […]

Jake Tapper Grills Kellyanne Conway on Trump Administration Lies

Donald Trump Shrug

Yesterday afternoon, Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump’s senior advisers, appeared for an extended interview on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, and the results were, well let’s just call them interesting: Top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has apologized for citing a fake “massacre” in support of Donald Trump’s travel ban, in an interview on CNN […]

Ninth Circuit To Live Stream Hearing In Muslim Travel Ban Order Appeal

law-gavel-lights

The Ninth Circuit will be making the oral argument in the appeal of Judge Robart’s order halting an Executive Order issued by President Trump barring travel from seven majority Muslim nations. You can access the stream, by clicking this link. Oral argument begins at 6:00pm Eastern time. If you miss the hearing, it should still […]

Speaker Of British House Of Commons Says No Address By Trump

British Houses Of Parliament

When she came to visit President Trump during his first week in office, British Prime Minister Theresa May invited Trump to visit the United Kingdom. It has since been reported that such a visit, which apparently has not been scheduled, would be a formal state visit that would include an audience with Queen Elizabeth II […]

Saturday Night Live Roasts White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer

Trump SNL

Donald Trump has been providing comedians in general, and Saturday Night Live in particular, with material for decades. Now, his Administration is helping comedians worldwide on a daily basis. Last night, it was Press Secretary Sean Spicer who came into focus for grilling, with Melissa McCarthy portraying him: Nicely played SNL. Nicely played.

Betsy DeVos Nomination At 50-50 After Two GOP Defections

education-costs

The nomination of Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education appears to be somewhat imperiled, and would appear to require a tie-breaking vote from Vice-President Pence to make it through the Senate: Betsy DeVos has no votes to spare heading into a looming confirmation vote next week. Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said […]

Trump Deludes Himself Into Believing He Did Well Among African-American Voters

Donald Trump Shrug

During the same Black History Month event I referenced earlier, Donald Trump claimed that he did “substantially better” among African-American voters than previous Republican candidates: “If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other […]

Trump Invokes The Name Of Frederick Douglass, Ignores What Douglass Said About Immigration

Donald Trump Shrug

During a meeting today at the White House kicking off Black History Month, President Trump invoked the name of Frederick Douglass, the former slave who became a leading abolitionist before the Civil War and an advocate for liberty and equality thereafter. It leads one to wonder if he was aware of what Douglass had to […]

George H.W. Bush Released From Hospital

George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital: Former president George H.W. Bush was released from the hospital Monday, after spending 12 days at Houston Methodist Hospital due to pneumonia. The former president, 92, was in the ICU for five days after suffering a respiratory problem caused by pneumonia. Former first lady Barbara […]

“It’s working out very nicely”

us-politics

“You see it at the airports. You see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we’re going to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”-President Donald J. Trump. Here’s the thing:  either he doesn’t understand the […]

Elections have Consequences, Part 2

travel-suitcase

Via the BBC:  MP Zahawi says Trump order banning him from US is ‘demeaning and sad’ Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has said the executive order from President Trump bans him from the US and makes him feel discriminated against for the first time since he was a child. A British citizen born in Iraq, and […]

Elections have Consequences

us-politics

Via AFP: An Iraqi family was barred from flying from Cairo to New York on Saturday after US President Donald Trump signed an order restricting arrivals from seven Muslim-majority countries. […] Fuad Sharef, 51, and his wife and three children were instead forced to board a flight back to Erbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, […]

The Vestiges Of The Great War Remain

Verdun

This article is a couple months old, but it catalogs in chilling detail the extent to which the site of the Battle of Verdun, one of the longest and bloodiest in human history, still impact the countryside of France. By some estimates, this area will still be dangerous for hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years due […]

John Hurt, Award-Winning British Actor, Dies At 77

John Hurt

John Hurt, the award-winning British actor know for everything from his starring role in “The Elephant Man” to his appearance in science fiction classics such as “Alien” and “Doctor Who,” has died at the age of 77: John Hurt, an unprepossessing British character actor who vanished inside dozens of roles, from Shakespeare to science fiction, […]

One Week in…

us-politics

Via USAT:  Fact check: President Trump’s first week on the job During his first week in office, President Donald Trump made several false and misleading claims about the inauguration crowd size, voter fraud, the Affordable Care Act and other issues.

¡Alternative Foreign Policy Fact!

Michael Barone attempts to calm our tempers with a soothing lullaby of an argument.  Adopting a tone diametrically opposed to President Trump’s combative us vs. them rhetorical approach, Barone makes a clever (yet far from persuasive) argument that at the heart of Trump’s America First-ness is a healthy respect for our collective self that takes […]

Donald Trump Declares His Inauguration Day To Be A “National Day Of Patriotic Devotion”

Donald Trump Inauguration

One of the first actions taken by President Trump on his first day in office was to name his Inauguration Day a “National Day Of Patriotic Devotion”: President Trump has officially declared the day of his inauguration a national day of patriotism. Trump’s inaugural address on Friday frequently referred to patriotism as the salve that would heal […]

Singer Said Something Sort of Stupid

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

There was a modest freakout over the weekend over something Madonna said at the Women’s March. She wants you to know the remarks were taken out of context. A row has erupted over Madonna’s comments about US President Donald Trump during a speech at the weekend. While taking part in a protest march in Washington […]

George Will, Cal Thomas, Ed Rollins Out at Fox News

newsman

Fox News has declined to renew the contracts of several venerable commentators. The Hill: Fox News has declined to renew contributor contracts for longtime political commentator George Will, Republican strategist Ed Rollins and actress Stacey Dash, according to a network spokesperson. Will, 75, is a Pulitzer-winning conservative columnist who was with ABC from 1981-2011 before […]

No Hispanics in Trump Cabinet (Not Much Diversity in General)

us-politics

Via the DMN:  Trump Cabinet will be the first in decades without a Hispanic member Donald Trump’s Cabinet is poised to become the first since 1988 without any Hispanic officials — sparking rebukes from members of the nation’s second-largest ethnic group — as Trump tapped former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary. This is not especially surprising. […]

Trump Forks Over $25 Million To Settle Trump University Cases

Donald Trump

With just a day to go before he becomes the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump has officially settled the lawsuits filed against him regarding the so-called ‘Trump University,’ which was the subject of numerous consumer and fraud complaints: Days before President-elect Donald Trump is set to take the oath to uphold the […]

George And Barbara Bush Hospitalized

Both former President Bush and his wife Barbara have been hospitalized in a Houston-area hospital: Former president George H.W. Bush was under observation at an intensive care unit in Houston on Wednesday after being treated for an “acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia,” according to a statement from his office. The update described the 92-year-old […]

Hey, thanks for not enslaving me…

Apparently Governor Paul LePage believes that (African-American) Rep. John Lewis owes a “simple thank you” to (white) Republicans of old for abolishing slavery.   It doesn’t require an especially uncharitable interpretation of the Governor’s words—especially given his track record on race—to read them as implying that rights are rightly understood as the property of whites to dispense—or […]

Trump’s Approval Numbers not Very Approving

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Via CNN:  CNN/ORC Poll: Confidence drops in Trump transition Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president. Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump’s […]

Ethics Concern Raised over HHS Nominee

us-politics

Via CNN:  Trump’s cabinet pick invested in company, then introduced a bill to help it Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary. Price bought […]

Monica Crowley Backs Out Of Post In Trump Administration After Plagiarism Charges

us-politics

After a week or more of plagiarism allegations, Monica Crowley has withdrawn from the position she was named to in the Trump Administration: Conservative author and television personality Monica Crowley is stepping away from her appointment to a senior communications role in Donald Trump’s incoming administration, CNN confirms. The move comes after CNN’s KFile uncovered multiple […]

Further Evidence Of Monica Crowley’s Plagiarism

us-politics

Based on a CNN analysis, it appears the plagiarism in Monica Crowley’s dissertation was even more extensive than previously reported: Conservative commentator Monica Crowley, who is slated to serve in a top national security communications role in Donald Trump’s presidential administration, plagiarized thousands of words of her 2000 dissertation for her Columbia University Ph.D., a CNN […]

Chelsea Manning Reportedly On Short List For Commutation

law-scales-justice-flag

With  only nine days to go in his Presidency, President Obama is reportedly working out a final list of pardons and commutations of people convicted of crimes under Federal law, and among those names on a short list is Chelsea Manning: President Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year […]

Trump Appointee Monica Crowley Faces Further Plagiarism Allegations

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First it was her book, then it was her Ph.D. dissertation, now we’ve learned that Donald Trump National Security nominee Monica Crowley appears to have plagiarized at least fifty times in columns she wrote for The Washington Times: Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick for a senior national security communications role, plagiarized multiple sources in some of her […]

Harper Collins Pulls Monica Crowley Book After Plagiarism Charges

us-politics

As Steven Taylor has noted, Monica Crowley, who has been chosen by Donald Trump for a position at the National Security Council, has been accused of plagiarism in both her book and her dissertation in cases that seem to be fairly clear-cut and damning. Now, Harper Collins has announced that it is pulling copies of her […]

Joe Biden To Leave Washington, D.C. By Amtrak

Biden Sunglasses

After the Inauguration of President-Elect Trump and Vice-President-Elect Pence, Joe Biden will be leaving D.C. the way he arrived for much of his Senate career: Joe Biden will resume a long-held personal ritual when he leaves Washington for his home state of Delaware after President-elect Donald Trump’z inauguration on Jan. 20: taking the train. “Jan […]

Crowley’s Dissertation….

academic-book-glasses

Via Politico:  Trump Pick Monica Crowley Plagiarized Parts of Her Ph.D. Dissertation. An examination of the dissertation and the sources it cites identified around more than a dozen sections of text that have been lifted, with little to no changes, from other scholarly works without proper attribution. In some instances, Crowley footnoted her source but did […]

A Real Life “The Terminal” (of Sorts)

travel-suitcase

Via WaPo:  Colombia deports U.S. tourist who was stranded at a Bogota airport for three months.

Monica Crowley: Plagiarist

us-politics

Via CNN:  Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book The review of Crowley’s June 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened,” found upwards of 50 examples of plagiarism from numerous sources, including the copying with minor changes of news articles, other columnists, think tanks, and Wikipedia. The New York Times […]

A Photo for Friday: The Four Horsemen

“The Four Horsemen” January 4, 2017 Pike Road, AL

Trump Tweets about the new Apprentice…

us-politics

I saw these on FB and they were so bizarrely petty that I thought they were fake.  But, in fact, I found them on his Twitter feed: Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January […]

Trump Faces a Confidence Deficit

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Via Gallup:  Many in U.S. Skeptical Trump Can Handle Presidential Duties As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%). At […]

All Hail the Virtue of the Oligarchs

us-politics

“Wealthy folks have no need to steal or engage in corruption.”  Larry Kudlow, in regards to Trump’s cabinet. I am not even sure where to begin.  One thought is that both Plato and Aristotle would have found this a laughable proposition–both thought that being governed by the wealthy would lead to ruin.  Beyond that, history […]

None of that “Uniter, not a Divider” Business, I Guess

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The president-elect tweets: Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016

William Christopher, Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H, Dies At 84

William Christopher, who played Father Mulcahy on M*A*S*H during it’s eleven seasons on television, died yesterday at the age of 84: William Christopher, the actor who played the sensitive and soft-spoken Father John Mulcahy on the long-running CBS comedy “M*A*S*H,” died Saturday at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 84. The actor’s son, John Christopher, […]

A Quote to Ponder

us-politics

Doing a little research and came across this: “The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing-one person, one vote”–Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority in Gray v. Sanders (1963). This was, interestingly enough, in the context of […]

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